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November 15, 2023: Learning Journeys

By Dr. John Johnson, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

For Whitman's faculty and staff, continuous professional development and learning around diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism (DEIA) is a necessary element for inclusive excellence. An inclusive Whitman requires all of us. While we may all be busy with our different roles and responsibilities, our actions, decisions, comments and essentially all of our workplace behaviors impact the campus climate.

In the last couple of years, a number of people have had the opportunity to engage in deep learning at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American higher education (NCORE). Others have attended Community Learning Day sessions or attended Third Space Speaker events (the next speaker is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 29). Several departments on campus have engaged in a structured DEIA education process using a custom learning plan designed by the Division of Diversity and Inclusion. Ask me about the DEIA Maturity Matrix!

Subtle Acts of Inclusion book coverAs we head into the holiday break, I wanted to lift up a couple of resources that you might want to consider engaging with to grow your understanding around workplace climate and connection across difference. The first is the text “Subtle Acts of Exclusion” by Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran. The book is described as “a practical, accessible, nonjudgmental handbook to help individuals and organizations recognize and prevent microaggressions in the workplace.” This is a useful tool to understand the impact of our words on others and provides concrete examples of ways that people can sometimes feel excluded. With chapters focused on exclusion based on gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, disability, religion, as well as age and generation, Subtle Acts of Exclusion describes the experience of othering and offers strategies for creating a more inclusive climate. If you or your team are interested in reading this book, let us know. We have a few copies available for distribution.

The second resource we want to share with you is the web series Race in the Workplace. This collection of nine zoom lectures by Dr. Shaun Harper helps expand our understanding of the way that race shows up in our institutions and provides “practical approaches to improving and advancing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in organizations. Harper is the Clifford and Betty Allen Chair in Urban Leadership at the University of Southern California (USC) and the founder and executive director of the USC Race and Equity Center.

As you consider the next step in your DEIA learning journey, consider one of these resources or reach out to our Division for a recommendation. We are here to help you along the way.

Published on Nov 15, 2023
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